Carlton Honors Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Gave All by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living | May 31, 2021

Carlton Honors Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Gave All by Harriett Burt

Carlton Pleasant Hill-Martinez celebrated Veterans Day last November by featuring the stories of some of the residents who served in World War II and Korea. It was so popular that we decided to do it again in May. But when it looked like it would be another set of stories about living veterans, this time including Vietnam, one of the vets pointed out that “Memorial Day is about those who died” in service to their country, not those who lived. It took a while but finally, the solution became apparent. We should feature the living veterans talking about those they knew, either as relatives or as buddies, who did not survive the war. The profile …

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“An American Childhood an Ocean Away: The Story of Carlton Sisters Claudia Cook and Cindy Tilton,” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living | April 10, 2021

“An American Childhood an Ocean Away: The Story of Carlton Sisters Claudia Cook and Cindy Tilton,” by Harriett Burt

All of us, whether we think so or not, have lives or parts thereof that are interesting to others. For most, it is something in our adult years that commands attention. But Claudia Cook and Cindy Tilton’s childhoods stand out compared to most of the rest of us because they grew up often outside of their native land. Their father, Claude Turner, Jr., was born in south-central Oklahoma in 1920 where his family owned a cattle ranch. Going to college in 1937, Mr. Turner joined the Army Air Corps in 1939 which became a separate branch of the military, the United States Air Force, at the end of World War II. Mr. Turner’s love of flying and his abil …

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Iris & Ivan: Celebrating 59 Years of Marriage This Spring
Carlton Senior Living Blog | February 21, 2021

Iris & Ivan: Celebrating 59 Years of Marriage This Spring

Ivan and Iris Seppala celebrated their 58th anniversary last May. The same month they moved from their Clayton home of 47 years to Carlton Pleasant Hill-Martinez. The couple had met in the early 1950s at the Apostolic Lutheran Church in Rosburg, Washington. Ivan admits he wasn’t too impressed at the time with the slight Canadian girl. But two years later, when she came to a church gathering in Seattle, he saw Iris much differently. “She asked how us folks were doing,” he recalls. “Seriously, she cared about people.” Iris replied with the practicality her upbringing had instilled in her. “I was in nursing school. I wasn’t looking for a man.” H …

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“Paul Moser: Part of An Invasion that Fortunately Never Happened,” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living Blog | January 10, 2021

"Paul Moser: Part of An Invasion that Fortunately Never Happened," by Harriett Burt

A short story from one of Carlton’s many veterans as written by Carlton Pleasant Hill-Martinez resident, Harriett Burt. Paul Moser graduated in 1942 from Pittsburg High School (California), a US Steel mill town across the country from the original US Steel mill in Pittsburg, (Pennsylvania). He and his three best friends signed up for the service in 1943, Paul choosing the US Navy’s V-12 program which trained young enlistees to be Naval officers. He took ‘basic training’ at San Mateo Junior College and was accepted to Midshipman School at Northwestern University in Chicago. It was a 90-day training program. When asked if that made him a ’90-da …

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“Eileen Callahan: Typefaces, printing presses, books galore and ink, these are among her favorite things…”
Resident Spotlights | December 13, 2020

"Eileen Callahan: Typefaces, printing presses, books galore and ink, these are among her favorite things…"

Eileen Callahan was born in Ohio and raised in Stamford, Connecticut, the middle child in a family of four girls and two boys. Her father worked in public relations in New York City and her mother was a nurse. Eileen was a voracious reader who knew about San Francisco’s City Lights Book Store and its owner, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, long before she came to San Francisco. That love of reading and writing and encouraging both activities by becoming a publisher here caused her to live most of her life quite happily in the Bay Area. Telling her mother on Saturday mornings that she was going to the Stamford Library, Eileen instead hopped on a train t …

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“Which Army to Join? Scott Wan Chose the US over the Chinese,” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living | November 29, 2020

"Which Army to Join? Scott Wan Chose the US over the Chinese," by Harriett Burt

Wan Qupi Sum was 16 when he made a life-changing choice 68 years ago. He could have remained in southern China where he was born in 1936 or he could come to America in 1952 where his father had lived as a farm laborer near Stockton since 1924. For years the father had worked hard in America to make enough money to support his Chinese family at home and to put aside to retire in America someday. In the late 1940s, history in the making would bring Qupi Sum and his eleven-year-old brother to America in 1952. The Chinese Communists had taken over China in 1949 after helping America’s World War II ally, the Nationalist Chinese, to drive out the J …

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“The Attic” from the Memoirs of James Thompson Sr. of Carlton San Jose
Carlton Senior Living | November 22, 2020

"The Attic" from the Memoirs of James Thompson Sr. of Carlton San Jose

“The Attic” is just one of the many short stories from the memoirs of James Thompson Sr., a resident of Carlton Senior Living San Jose. Written during the 1970s, Thompson’s writings illustrate what life was like as a child growing up in the small town of Dyer, Indiana during the 1930s. Dyer is a town in St. John Township, Lake County, Indiana and is a southeastern suburb of Chicago. According to census records, the population of Dyer was just 672 in 1930 and had increased to 976 by 1940. “The Attic” by James Thompson Sr. The attic was a good place to play if the weather was mild. In the summer, the attic was very hot and in the winter it was …

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“Two Worlds Meet at Carlton: The Story of Setsuko Iwawaki Brockman” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living | October 11, 2020

"Two Worlds Meet at Carlton: The Story of Setsuko Iwawaki Brockman" by Harriett Burt

An interesting thing happened during the recent temporary re-opening of the dining room so that new wait staff could be trained on proper meal service techniques. Table seating of residents (two to a table or booth) were organized by Dining Room Manager, Janine Smith of Carlton Pleasant Hill-Martinez. Among the ‘two at a table’ next to a window were Blanche Perry and Setsuko Brockman. Both being friendly types, they started exchanging information about themselves right away. Blanche mentioned she had lived in Japan for two years after World War II with her US Air Force husband and their family. Lo and behold, it turned out Blanche had lived i …

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“There’s a Bit of Daredevil Inside! The 20th & 21st Century Life of Bobbie Rose” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living Blog | September 22, 2020

"There’s a Bit of Daredevil Inside! The 20th & 21st Century Life of Bobbie Rose" by Harriett Burt

It is an interesting coincidence that Barbara Sharp ‘Bobbie’ Rose was born in San Francisco on June 21, 1918, right in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic, the last deadly worldwide health assault before the Covid-19 pandemic we are now experiencing. Bobbie’s mother was in labor for three days. It took her five months in the hospital and one month with relatives to recover, at least partially, from a serious infection. It was not totally cleared until sulfa drugs were developed in the late 1930s. Another problem in this most difficult birth was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Bobbie’s neck. To keep the baby alive during the birt …

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“Life Isn’t Always Easy, But It Can Be Fulfilling: Bill Rainford’s Story” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living | August 23, 2020

"Life Isn’t Always Easy, But It Can Be Fulfilling: Bill Rainford's Story" by Harriett Burt

Life Isn’t Always Easy, But It Can Be Fulfilling: Bill Rainford’s Story Carlton is not the first place Bill Rainford has lived in the neighborhood dominated by Taylor Boulevard, Pleasant Hill Road and Alhambra Avenue. A few years ago he owned a condo on Ridgeview Court, which is located near Carlton. But he has also resided in an impressive number of other neighborhoods across the country and overseas for much of his life before ending up twice, so to speak, in Pleasant Hill. Rainford is the name of a village in the northwest of England formerly famous as a producer of clay pipes. His paternal grandfather grew up there leaving in the 1890s to …

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“You Don’t Meet General MacArthur But I’d See Him…” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living | July 19, 2020

“You Don’t Meet General MacArthur But I’d See Him…” by Harriett Burt

Japan at the end of WWII Is Just One Part of Blanche Perry’s Active Life When Blanche Perry moved to Carlton Pleasant Hill-Martinez from Carlton Concord last December, she already had friends here. But along with her belongings, she also brought her life story with her. One of the most interesting chapters covers February 1950 to February 1952 which she spent in Occupied Japan as the wife of an Army Air Force rear gunner assigned to the crew of the two airplanes used by five-star General Douglas MacArthur, head of the U.S. occupation of Japan at the end of World War II. When asked if she ever met the aloof General of the Armies, the answer is …

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“At Home in the World of Animals and of People” by Harriett Burt
Carlton Senior Living | June 28, 2020

"At Home in the World of Animals and of People" by Harriett Burt

“There’s nothing more daunting than taking a blood sample from a lion,” Carlton Senior Living Pleasant Hill-Martinez resident and retired veterinarian Denny Bohlke observes. He ought to know because his Yakima office was close enough to a retired circus animal ranch to hear them roaring and to make a ‘home visit’ from time to time. Oh, by the way, how do you take the sample? From its tail, he says. Denny was born in 1931 and grew up on a 12-acre farm near Yakima. His dad was a fruit inspector in Washington’s largest fruit growing area. It was the beginning of the Great Depression so keeping the wolf from the door meant everybody in the family …

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